For me the original Swiss Family Treehouse was a far more imaginative, immersive experience than Tarzan's Treehouse.
Some of the best posts I've read in that regard are from this thread in 2007:
Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano
Originally Posted by techskip
Originally Posted by merlinjones
For fans of Disneyland's Swiss Family Treehouse, the Re-Imagineering blog article "Escape to Paradise" by merlinjones is required reading. A quote:
...All of the amazing inventions of the clever castaways were built into [the Swiss Family Treehouse] for the delight of Disneyland guests. A water wheel carried running water from a stream up to the main floors of the treehouse, a sunroof allowed the master bedroom to greet the skies, there were magnificent vistas of the jungle below, a fully equipped tropical kitchen and a library complete with an organ playing Buddy Baker’s catchy Swisskapolka. Heard throughout Adventureland and Frontierland (and beyond), the Robinson’s pumping pipe organ became one of the signature sounds of Disneyland.
Best of all, the treehouse was built as a you-are-there experience. With no figures or character representations to be seen, it was as if the guest had stepped into the Robinson home, into that other time and place, to find the house just as they left it. You were the star.
One felt as if the family were out battling pirates for the day and might return at any time. We were to momentarily take their place, making ourselves at home to appreciate their craft and ingenuity, their ability to survive – and thrive – through sheer imagination, resolve and stick-to-it-ivity. We could imagine ourselves living in their balmy world for just a few moments. This was truly an escape to paradise. Anaheim and the 20th Century were places far, far away.
...It would be reborn as a marketing tie-in to the upcoming animated feature Tarzan. With a corporate agenda to be serviced, a budget became available to makeover the attraction and the Robinsons were evicted from their treetop home.
But it wasn’t just the theme that changed, it was the very experience. When Tarzan’s Treehouse reopened to the public, it still had the same floor plan, but was now inhabited by stiff Disney Store-like mannequins posed in unmoving representational set pieces as seen in the Tarzan film. This changed the guest experience from a personal adventure on location to an observational viewpoint more akin to a wax museum.
The charming inventions of Walt and the Robinsons had been stripped-away, now replaced by children’s museum gimmicks like video projections and trick mirrors, tasked to sell a diorama story of Tarzan and his friends. The water wheel, ropes and pulleys were gone.... It was no longer a convincing walk-through, but a themed walk-past. We remained firmly grounded in the modern world of Southern California.
The once joyous Swisskapolka was now but a whisper, confined to a scratchy record in the trashed base camp as an homage to fans.
While Tarzan, as a new property, was certainly more familiar to young children, the original Swiss Family Treehouse never required a familiarity with the film or story to succeed in its illusion. All we needed to know was that a castaway family built a home in a tree. The new treehouse story was tied directly to Tarzan's marketable characters and scenes....